My toothbrush has a built-in timer—two minutes for each session. Recently somewhere between when the paste hit the first tooth and what felt like 45 minutes later, I started thinking about patience and, more specifically, all the times in our lives we have to muster it up. Toasting bread came to mind, as did waiting for my 14-year-old niece to stop texting her friends and answer my question.
And because messaging is what I live and breathe, it, too, came to mind. When do we need to find patience with our messaging strategy, and when is it time to move on? The answer, as is my initial answer to almost all questions marketing, is “It depends.”
It depends on many factors, such as but not limited to, what you’re trying to accomplish, how much you’ve invested, and what else you may or may not be doing in concert. With all that in mind, here are some thoughts I’ve had which hardly constitute an exhaustive list. (Please add in yours when we’re done.)
What are you trying to accomplish? It should go without saying that driving across town takes less patience than driving across the country. The same goes for your message. Think about it in terms of a journey. Where are your readers in their journey toward taking the action you want them to take? There are five milestones in that journey:
- Understand or care about the issue
- Know about you
- Want to tackle the issue
- Understand why your particular solution is best
- Make the decision to answer your call to action
Your patience for each message depends on where your audience starts on that journey to answering your call to action.
Before people can answer your call to action, they have a journey to make.How much have you invested? With enough persistence, most anything is possible eventually. With a lot of cash, it can happen even faster! Take, for example, name recognition. Brand names like Google, Uber, and Spotify were accepted because a ton of advertising and brand marketing dollars were put behind them. If you spend a lot of money on search engine marketing, you should see more increased site traffic than if you did nothing.
How confident are you in the approach? How tried and true is your messaging approach? Is it established best practice, or are you experimenting? If you send an appeal to a list that has performed well in advance, you shouldn’t need as much patience as if you were sponsoring your local NPR station for the first time.
What else are you doing? Most messaging strategies work best in tandem with others, or as we used to call it, via an integrated marketing approach, such as a blend of direct marketing, search engine marketing, advertising, and events. If you’re focusing on just one or two channels, you’ll need to muster up a bit more patience.
What’s the message’s foundation? If your overall message is not differentiated, authentic, and emotional, chances are that finding patience is the least of your problems. No message will get through if it lacks those basics and a clear understanding of your audience and their wants and needs.
Those are some of my thoughts on what impacts the amount of patience you need to have with your messaging strategies. What did I miss? Share this post via one of the social media channels below and add your thoughts to the discussion. (Be certain to tag us!)